Happy Hump Day! Halfway through the week and counting down the days… Here’s the Oregon beer news for Wednesday, February 21. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated too.
Portland’s Saraveza is hosting Lederhosen and Leis tonight with Zoiglhaus Brewing and Pono Brewing from 6 to 9pm: “Come celebrate the coming together of beer styles and cultures half a world apart on Wednesday, February 21st from 6-9 PM for the official release of Zoiglhaus and Pono Brewing’s collab “Saving Grace” a hoppy lager made w/ Azacca and Ekuanot hops. This mash up’s got the hefty hop profile of an IPA w/ the light body of a lager with notes of mango, papaya, pineapple, lemon, lime, and fresh peppers. We’ll have a tap list including delicious and unique beers from both breweries and the folks from the breweries will be on hand. Whether you’re German, Hawaiian, or just plain excited about drinking great beer then come on down!”
Astoria Brewing is officially consolidating and rebranding their Wet Dog Cafe (where they started) to the “Astoria Brewing” name. The Daily Astorian has a story about it and includes some of the history behind the Wet Dog. “In 1995, Seaside residents Joe Gwerder and Harry Henke started Wet Dog Cafe at the Astoria Riverwalk and 11th Street. Stephen Allen, a local accountant, joined as a silent partner and bought Gwerder and Henke out in 1997, soon after adding a separate operation, Pacific Rim Brewery, in the same location. In 2005, the brewery portion of the business was renamed Astoria Brewing Co., in commemoration of Astoria Brewery, the city’s first, started in 1872. Astoria Brewing Co., including Pacific Rim, is the city’s oldest active brewery. The Wet Dog Cafe & Brewery name remained for the main pub.”
McMenamins Murray & Allen (Portland) has a limited-edition beer tasting tonight with Oak Hills brewer Dan Black, featuring Coffee Mountain Nut Brown: “As the short days get shorter and the long nights get longer, take a break and recharge with our Coffee Infused Nut Brown Ale. We added McMenamins freshly roasted Coffee Beans to an original recipe from Oak Hills: Lace Mountain Nut Brown. This brew boasts a nice pick-me-up, and complements the complex Nut Brown flavors well.” The tasting is from 5 to 8pm.
Today is National Cherry Pie Day (following up from Presidents’ Day) which of course means you should be pairing beer with cherry pie at some point today. Also great for hunkering down with during the approaching (apparent) snomageddon… Beyond pie, here’s the news in Oregon beer for this Tuesday, February 20; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news and items. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted too.
Gigantic Brewing (Portland) teamed up with Hillsboro’s ABV Public House to brew a collaboration beer, and today ABV is hosting the release party for MTMF IPA from 5 to 8pm: “Celebrate the island life with MTMF, our tropical hazy IPA with coconut brewed in collaboration with our friends at Gigantic Brewing. Our super juicy, soft and fluffy IPA is loaded with Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic and Crystal hops and flaked coconut creating a huge tropical and citrusy hoppiness with a subtle coconut finish. Multi-Tasking at its finest.”
The Bier Stein (Eugene) is Tapping into Community today, raising funds for the School Garden Project starting at 5pm: “‘School Garden Project helps Lane County Schools create, sustain, and use onsite gardens by providing resources, professional consultation, and educational programming. We envision a future in which school garden education helps children become healthy adults who eat their fruits and vegetables, know the basics of growing food, and contribute to a thriving community.’ Doesn’t that sound like a mission worth supporting? Well, it’s as easy as buying a round of WildCraft cider at this Tapping Into Community event. 100% of the proceeds from the keg (exact style TBD), tapped at 5pm, will be donated to the School Garden Project.”
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (Portland) has their latest Blasphemous Collaboration music and beer event tonight. The bands are Bell Witch, Uada, and Shrine of the Serpent, and the beer is Beer of the Reaper: “Brewed for our Blasphemous Collaboration with Bell Witch, our German style lager has an icy bite & is best enjoyed cold.”
The annual Best of Craft Beer Awards took place recently here in Bend; this was its fifth year taking place, and it has grown into an impressive size, becoming (according to the description) the third-largest pro brewing competition in the U.S.
Over 2000 entries were amassed, and judges were selected from a pool of BJCP-certified judges, brewers, and other industry people. Beers are judged according to Brewers Association 2017 guidelines, and I believe it’s more GABF-style than BJCP-style—shorter score sheets in advance/reject style, rather than the detailed notes BJCP judging entails.
Here’s the press release:
During the weekend of January 26-28th, professional brewers and judges descended upon the picturesque beer/ski town of Bend, Oregon to judge over 2,000 entries into the 2018 Best of Cra Beer Awards competition. Breweries of all sizes, from nearly every state in the union, as well as Columbia, Canada, and Belgium, sent over 10,000 containers of their finest product for evaluation based on a combined 156 specific beer styles.
Judging took place in five sessions over a 3-day period by nearly 80 of the finest West Coast judges. They awarded 245 gold, silver, and bronze medals to 152 brewery locations in a total of 86 categories.
2018 Brewery of the Year – Breakside Brewing, Portland/Milwaukie, Oregon
The Best of Craft Beer Awards just completed its 5th year of competition seeing a successive growth rate in participating breweries year over year. In that short amount of time, the competition has grown to be the third largest professional brewing competition in the country.
You can view the list of winners here (as well as winners from previous years). It’s a good and interesting spread of winners this year, with some surprises, and yes, Portland’s Breakside Brewery absolutely cleaned up (as they do).
Congratulations to all the winners! And start prepping your recipes and beers for next year’s awards.
Happy President’s Day! Cheers to you if you have the day off today, lift a beer in commemoration of our first president (and subsequent good ones). Perhaps a cherry beer to go with some cherry pie? Here’s the other news in Oregon beer for this February 19 and the new week. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. If you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.
This Saturday, February 24, the 25th annual Hillsdale Brewfest is taking place at the McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery! “In celebration of the 25-year mark of this Brewfest, we’re going big this year with an outdoor heated tent in the lot and, for the first time, will feature live music. Catch the indie rock of The Coastline from 4 p.m. ‘til 7 p.m. while tasting the creativity of the 22 different McMenamins Breweries’ offerings. Patrons order trays of beer samples, arranged from lightest to darkest. It is our guests’ official duty to decide who deserves the coveted title. The beers cover the spectrum of brew styles – from Fruited Sour to Coffee Porter, Jasmine Pale Ale to Double IPA and beyond. Each taster casts one ballot that lists their top three choices. (And beware the brewers’ shameless vote-mongering. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)” This is the event that in the past selected the beer to represent McMenamins at the Oregon Brewers Festival. The fest starts at 11am and runs all day, so be sure to get over there and vote on your favorite!
This Saturday is also Zwickelmania for the rest of Oregon outside of Portland! Obviously this is quite a large and varied area so plan for your region accordingly (and man, I wish Eastern Oregon was better represented than just one brewery… though there are a lot of miles in between the breweries back there). As always plan for a designated driver or transportation; both Central Oregon and the Willamette Valley areas have shuttle services (like the Bend Brew Bus). Stay safe and enjoy!
StormBreaker Brewing in Portland has their 4th annual Brewstillery Festival taking place this Saturday: “Breweries and Distilleries teaming up to create the perfect pairings. Each pairing will consist of a 4oz beer pour and a 1/4 oz spirit taste. Only like beer? Then just drink beer. You can pick and choose, although we strongly recommend going for the pairing. Advanced tickets on sale now! $25 for event branded beer tasting glass and 10 tasting tix. VIP (limited to 75) is $45 for event branded whiskey glass, event beer tasting glass, 15 tix, and one hour early entry (11a). Live music all day!”
I hope you’re ready for a busy weekend! Besides being President’s Day weekend, this Friday is Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog). There are plenty of things going on so let’s get to it with the weekend’s news! As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.
Friday, Feb. 16
Crux Fermentation Project (Bend) is releasing its lastest specialty beer, Tripelcross, in bottles on Friday: “You may have seen our tripel on tap lately, maybe you’ve even given it a try, but now it’s time to take a bottle of it home with you. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate our first bottling of this Belgian-style delight with free samples and a special pairing from our kitchen.”
Baerlic Brewing (Portland) has a can release on Friday featuring their Dad Beer Pre-Prohibition Lager: “Dad Beer Pre-Prohibition Lager with notes of ripe fruit, fresh cut spring flowers and citrus. The kind of ‘Beer Flavored Beer’ your great great grandpappy used to drink in the 1880s. 4.8% ABV. Limited Can Run, so when they’re gone, they’re gone!”
The Bier Stein (Eugene) is hosting an Urban Family Brewing event from 5 to 8pm Friday: “Friday, February 16th from 5-8 we will be featuring some of the best beer that Urban Family Brewing Co has to offer! 2 delicious hazy IPAs will be included in the mix along with sour ales; Duality, Flooded Heart, Pinot Cuvee, and Preservation. Not only will there be free samples, Urban Family will be holding a “Cards Against Humanity” raffle with plenty of swag to give out!”
The Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub is celebrating the launch of their canned beers starting Friday (and lasting through the weekend): “Yes, we can. Now we CAN! Join us to celebrate our official can launch. Fresh Squeezed IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale + our Pacific Wonderland Lager (now available in cans) are center stage for this weekend-long event. Chef Specials Menu highlighting our canned beers and “can recipes”; Canned Food Drive benefiting our friends at Oregon Food Bank; Check out our epic can display; Sampling station on Saturday, 2/17… And more!”
McMenamins Old St. Francis School (Bend) has a limited-edition beer tasting Friday evening with new brewer Vance Wirtz, featuring his “Bean Me: Vanilla Bean Aged Robust Porter” on tap from 5 to 8pm at the O’Kane’s bar: “Dancing the line between Porter and Stout, the Robust Porter style is a much bolder version of your typical Porter. It’s characterized by a heavier use of dark malts and more attention to notes of roast and coffee. To spice things up a bit, we spiked this batch with some fresh vanilla bean to give it that perfect one-two punch of roast and sweetness.”
Speaking of Agrarian Ales, visiting their webpage shows this message appear: “We received a notice in late January from Lane County that we had to update a permit for the operation of our business. We proceeded by submitting the appropriate documents to the county for approval, but have not yet received authorization to re-open our business. We are diligently working to accelerate the approval process with Lane County. We hope to be allowed to open by February 24th for Zwickelmania.” Hopefully they will get this resolved soon, good luck!
Saturday, Feb. 17
It’s Zwickelmaniain the Portland region on Saturday! From 11am to 4pm breweries across the Portland Metro region will open their doors to the public to offer special tours, tastings, meet the brewer events, and more. It’s become something like Oregon’s beer holiday for President’s Day weekend (though ultimately it was so busy it was split into two weekends). If you’re planning to partake, be sure to plan for having a driver (there’s a lot of beer to sample) or even look at Portland’s free transportation options for the day. And don’t forget you can play Zwickel Bingo on the card generator I built and keep updated!
Here is the news in Oregon beer for this Thursday, February 15 (beginning the second half of the month). As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.
Portland’s Imperial Bottle Shop (Division Street location) is diving Into the Abyss today, featuring a special vertical of Deschutes Brewery’s The Abyss Imperial Stout: “We’ve been saving up kegs of Abyss for 3 years to pour you a special Abyss vertical smack dab in the middle of Stout Month. We’ll be pouring 2015, 2016, 2016 on Nitro, and 2017 Abyss by the glass, or try all 4 as a $13 sampler tray (4 oz pours each). And if you need something to cleanse your pallet, we’ll also be pouring Deschutes new Pear Bergamot Sour (50 cents off 12 oz glasses with purchase of a sampler tray).” Get your flight from 5 to 8pm.
The Platypus Pub (Bend) is hosting Portland’s Swift Cider for a cider tasting tonight from 5:30 to 7pm: “Join us to sample Swift Cider, a Cidery with deep roots in Central Oregon. From the Makers: When we started Swift, we set out to make cider better. The mass-market ciders we could find were just too sweet, too artificial, and too boring. Because independent hard cider production effectively ended with Prohibition, it has been up to us to define a category of cider where quality and craftsmanship take precedent. Starts after work at 5:30 free samples and education untill 7ish. Come on down and warm up.”
According to Jay Brooks, Portland Brewing opened on this day back in 1986, marking today as its 32nd birthday! The company has gone through a number of changes over the years but is still brewing. Grab a MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale and wish them a happy birthday!
In part it’s a pitch for beer drinkers to forgo the latest and greatest beer craze and a brewery’s standards from time to time. It’s easy to forget that the beers that often pay the bills do so for a reason, when we’re chasing trends. Blonde Bombshell is a great beer to re-calibrate to in this way, plus I dive into the American Blonde Ale style a bit.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have plans for the holiday, but if you don’t check out some of the events going on around the state, along with the rest of the beer news for this Wednesdy as well. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated too.
Astoria’s Buoy Beer is releasing Love, Lost At Sea in bottles today at their release event from 4 to 7pm: “Buoy Beer Company will release their first packaged specialty beer in February 2018. Love, Lost At Sea 2018 is an American Barleywine aged in Bull Run whiskey barrels for 5 months. This is the first release of the Small Batch Series, a line-up of limited release beers bottled in 500ml bottles each illustrating the creativity of our team of brewers. The label artwork was created by Kyler Martz, an artist from Seattle.” It will be in 500ml bottles that will also be hitting Portland and Eugene in the coming weeks, and the only place to find it on draft is at Buoy in Astoria.
Ecliptic Brewing (Portland) is releasing their Hypernove Triple IPA today: “Celebrate Triple IPA season by joining us for the release of Hypernova Triple IPA! Draft and bottles will be available in the pub. Like its cataclysmic namesake, Hypernova Triple India Pale Ale explodes with flavor. Two separate dry hop additions with loads of Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, Chinook and Columbus hops amplify Hypernova’s aroma to stellar proportions. ABU 12% IBU 88”
Steelhead Brewery (Eugene) is hosting a Chocolate And Barrel-Aged Beer Pairing for Valentine’s Day, starting at 5pm: “When beer lovers and chocolate lovers get together, beautiful things happen! We are excited to be working with Euphoria Chocolate Company for this special event. Starting at 5 p.m on Valentine’s day bring in that special someone, or just your love of beer and chocolate. The flight will come with three four-ounce pours of our Barrel-Aged beers, and three of Euphoria’s fine chocolates! The flight will be $8.95. No reservations, please.”
Brewpublic‘s annual My Beery Valentine returns today, hosted by Bazi Bierbrasserie and featuring “decadent craft beer, dessert beer pairings and specialty themed cocktails” from 5 to 9pm. In addition to a terrific lineup of beers put together by Brewpublic, Bazi will also host an optional food and beer pairing dinner, featuring five courses paired with the beers. Details are here, and if you can make it, enjoy!
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Happy Mardi Gras! Here’s the roundup of the Oregon beer news for this Fat Tuesday, February 13 for your Carnival fun. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.
Cascade Brewing (Portland): Their Tap It Tuesday at the Barrel House at 6pm tonight is a Valentine’s Day themed one: “Tonight’s Tap It Tuesday at 6pm, in honor of Valentine’s Day, is for all the single people out there. Rollin’ Solo is a blend of sour porters and blonds aged for up to two years in white wine barrels and bourbon barrels. We then added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and raspberries, which give this dark malty beer a delicious subtle fruitiness and warming aromatics of wood, earth, and spice. You don’t need to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself to this amazing sour beer while you’re Rollin’ Solo!”
Portland’s Old Town Brewingannounced some new beer updates today: “This week we are releasing TWO new beers in bottles. First up, is one that we have been hounded to bottle since we released in on draft a few months ago. Pillowfist is our absurdly hopped, insanely juicy, Hazy IPA. Pushing the bounds of flavor and aroma, with strong notes of pineapple, mango, and berry – this ale pours with a thick haze and unforgettable taste. It will start hitting shelves this weekend so be on the lookout! Stay tuned for beer #2”
Deschutes Brewery (Bend): Every Tuesday is Community Pints day at the Deschutes pubs, where $1 from every pint sold is donated to a local non-profit for the month. This month in Portland they are benefiting The Bloom Project. In Bend I don’t know what the organization is that is benefiting from Community Pints but rest assured the money’s going to a good cause. Make sure to enjoy a pint or three to help out.
Deschutes Brewery sent out a media tip sheet today with several notable items upcoming for 2018. Among the highlights:
The next Reserve Series beer: The Ages
“A gueuze-inspired, multi-year blending shapes a wild brew brimming with fruity, spicy esters and savory, tangy pear and white pepper flavors. Deschutes’ first release in a 500ml bottle, this is a beer for the ages.”
This will be released in April, and is 7.5% abv and 15 IBUs. I’m curious about the 500ml bottle format and what the price point on that will be compared to other Reserve Series beers. (And if it’s not going to be wax dipped, as in the picture below.) This is also a beer that’s been completely under my radar, so I’m definitely curious to try it.
New Sour Series on Draft Only
“The Deschutes Sour Series is a new offering from Deschutes Brewery. An innovative and creative series of stainless, lacto soured beers that vary in the use of fruit, hops, spices and specialty ingredients, all maintain a harmonious and clean acidity ranging from mild to medium. This series combines two trends among craft beer consumers: an emerging interest in kettle sours and a movement toward fruit-flavored beers. This series delivers both in a distinctly Deschutes way that is culinary-inspired and truly unique. Pear Bergamot Sour Ale tasting notes include pear and citrus with a floral aroma. Next up this spring, Black Raspberry Sour.”
I’d heard about this recently and I like the idea of an experimental kettle sour series. These beers will rotate quarterly, and I don’t know if they will repeat in following years, or if the brewery will experiment with new flavors each year. (I hope the latter.)
30th anniversary collaboration beer: Fresh Chair Northwest Pale Ale
“In celebration of Deschutes Brewery’s 30th birthday, they’ve partnered with several Deschutes Brewery alumni to collaborate on seven exciting brews. The first debut includes former brew masters Larry Sidor and Cam O’Connor now of Crux Fermentation Project, in the creation of a perfect blend of award winning Fresh Squeezed IPA and Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. Encompassing the popular hop varieties Citra, Mosaic and Centennial, a bright and bold hop aroma compliments a drinkable malt body. All proceeds from this beer will benefit restoration of streamflow and improved water quality in the Deschutes River Basin.”
It’s Deschutes’ 30th anniversary this year, and these seven collaborations with past brewers (and possibly like-minded breweries? I haven’t heard the full plan) should be pretty great. This first collaboration brew drops in March and will be draft only. Keep an eye out for more to come.
Finally: The return of Twilight Ale!
“Back by unrelenting customer demand, Twilight Summer Ale hits the shelves just in time for summer this year! Originally introduced in 2004, this clever golden-hued ale pours remarkably crisp and clean. A distinctive malt body complements a refreshing hop profile led by a healthy dose of bold Amarillo hops. It’s going to be a great summer.”
Yes, it’s happening, bottles and draft, and it will be out from April through August! Enough said.